The Editors: It is time for the Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn

 (CNS photo/Jim Bourg, pool via Reuters)

Editors' note (Oct. 2, 6:00 pm): Our editor in chief, Father Matt Malone, S.J., has responded, in his regular column, to many of our readers’ reactions to and questions about this editorial.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee today clearly demonstrated both the seriousness of her allegation of assault by Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and the stakes of this question for the whole country. Judge Kavanaugh denied the accusation and emphasized in his testimony that the opposition of Democratic senators to his nomination and their consequent willingness to attack him was established long before Dr. Blasey’s allegation was known.

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Evaluating the credibility of these competing accounts is a question about which people of good will can and do disagree. The editors of this review have no special insight into who is telling the truth. If Dr. Blasey’s allegation is true, the assault and Judge Kavanaugh’s denial of it mean that he should not be seated on the U.S. Supreme Court. But even if the credibility of the allegation has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt and even if further investigation is warranted to determine its validity or clear Judge Kavanaugh’s name, we recognize that this nomination is no longer in the best interests of the country. While we previously endorsed the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh on the basis of his legal credentials and his reputation as a committed textualist, it is now clear that the nomination should be withdrawn.

The nomination of Judge Kavanaugh has become a referendum on how to address allegations of sexual assault.

If this were a question of establishing Judge Kavanaugh’s legal or moral responsibility for the assault described by Dr. Blasey, then far more stringent standards of proof would apply. His presumption of innocence might settle the matter in his favor, absent further investigation and new evidence. But the question is not solely about Judge Kavanaugh’s responsibility, nor is it any longer primarily about his qualifications. Rather it is about the prudence of his nomination and potential confirmation. In addition to being a fight over policy issues, which it already was, his nomination has also become a referendum on how to address allegations of sexual assault.

Somewhere in the distant past, at least before the word “Borked” was coined to describe a Supreme Court nomination defeated by ideological opposition, Senate confirmation hearings might have focused on evaluating a nominee’s judicial character or qualifications as a legal thinker. But that time is long past. Many cases decided by the Supreme Court itself and thus also presidential nominations to that body (and the Senate hearings that follow) are now thoroughly engaged in deciding “policy by other means.” Neither the country nor the court is well served by this arrangement, but refusing to recognize it does nothing to help reverse it.

When Republican leaders in the Senate refused even to hold hearings on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, they were not objecting to his qualifications or character but to the likely outcome of his vote on the court were he to be confirmed. When Senate Democrats were mostly united in opposition to Judge Kavanaugh well in advance of any hearings (and before any rumor of Dr. Blasey’s accusation was known), they were using the same calculus. While regrettable in both cases, such results are, as we have said before, the predictable outcome of the fact that “fundamental questions of social policy are increasingly referred to the court for adjudication as constitutional issues.”

What is different this time is that this nomination battle is no longer purely about predicting the likely outcome of Judge Kavanaugh’s vote on the court. It now involves the symbolic meaning of his nomination and confirmation in the #MeToo era. The hearings and the committee’s deliberations are now also a bellwether of the way the country treats women when their reports of harassment, assault and abuse threaten to derail the careers of powerful men.

This nomination battle is no longer purely about predicting the likely outcome of Judge Kavanaugh’s vote on the court.

While nomination hearings are far from the best venue to deal with such issues, the question is sufficiently important that it is prudent to recognize it as determinative at this point. Dr. Blasey's accusations have neither been fully investigated nor been proven to a legal standard, but neither have they been conclusively disproved or shown to be less than credible. Judge Kavanaugh continues to enjoy a legal presumption of innocence, but the standard for a nominee to the Supreme Court is far higher; there is no presumption of confirmability. The best of the bad resolutions available in this dilemma is for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn.

If Senate Republicans proceed with his nomination, they will be prioritizing policy aims over a woman’s report of an assault. Were he to be confirmed without this allegation being firmly disproved, it would hang over his future decisions on the Supreme Court for decades and further divide the country. Even if one thinks that Dr. Blasey's allegations are not credible, demonstrating them not to be would require further investigations and testimony. This would include calling additional witnesses and assessing further allegations against Judge Kavanaugh from other women, to which Republicans on the committee have been unwilling to commit and which would be divisive in any case.

The best of the bad resolutions available in this dilemma is for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn.

There are many good reasons to support the nomination of a qualified judge who is committed to a textualist interpretation of the Constitution to the Supreme Court. Over time, such an approach may return the question of abortion to the states, where it belongs given the Constitution’s silence on the matter, and where a more just and moral outcome than is currently possible under Roe v. Wade may be achieved. Restoring such a morally complex question to the deliberation of legislators rather than judges may also bring the country closer to a time when confirmation hearings can truly focus on the character and qualifications of the nominee rather than serving as proxy battles over every contentious issue in U.S. politics.

We continue to support the nomination of judges according to such principles—but Judge Kavanaugh is not the only such nominee available. For the good of the country and the future credibility of the Supreme Court in a world that is finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously, it is time to find a nominee whose confirmation will not repudiate that lesson.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
J Brookbank
2 weeks 5 days ago

Yes, I hope so too. He looked genuinely stricken when he was asked about the girl of whom he and his friends claimed to be alumni, and about whom there was the rhyme about her being a sure date. No father would want his girl's name to be used in that phrase or in that rhyme. I thought that was a very genuine moment in his part of the hearing and I felt profoundly grateful, on behalf of the targeted friend, for his visible regret, despite his dissembling words. That visible regret that he had participated in a joke that was experienced as cruel by the subject of the joke ( in high school and 35 years later) led me to believe that his reputation, as an adult, for treating women respectfully in general may indeed be consistent with who he is today.

A Fielder
2 weeks 5 days ago

So in the event that there really has been growth and conversion, what kind of consequences for his teenage exploits, as grave as they might be, would be just today?

J Brookbank
2 weeks 5 days ago

I believe that question, in any given situation, could only be answered if and when the person who committed the interpersonal violence can articulate that growth and understanding and in an accoubtable acknowledgment of the past violence. I think it requires more than "visible regret".

Alfredo Surillo
3 weeks ago

I am probably not a good person to comment in a Jesuit magazine because I left the catholic church years ago. I will say that part of the reason is this "social justice activism" rather than a dedication to the gospel. You have a man here who has lived his life as close to his faith as possible and you have abandoned him because you want to make people with unproven allegations feel better. This is a cowardly attitude I see in much of the clergy in the U.S. especially my old church. While you may receive you 30 pieces of silver from the people who support the murder of babies and a sinful lifestyle, you will receive nothing but disgust from those of us who consider scripture our guiding principle. I will pray for you all, but this editorial proves that you are gone already.

Richard Nikkel
2 weeks 6 days ago

" Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" So you have exposed yourself as a political activist under the guise of a religious writer/magazine. You are empowering the very same people you choose to denigrate, they are all seeking power, money, position, et al. Would you have had us vote for a woman who failed to support women that were sexually abused by her husband. You sicken me with your false religiosity.

Stanley Kopacz
2 weeks 5 days ago

So social justice and the gospel are an either/or. There's a good trick. Some of the RC's here manage that trick along with floating two meters above the ground and crapping ice cream.

Janne Burdick
3 weeks ago

How disturbing that this Magazine supports the destruction of a man’s reputation, career and family based on and unsubstantiated accusation!
What will happen to this country when we are presumed guilty unless we prove ourselves innocent. This is horrifying and if I had a subscription I would cancel it!

Lilith Avner
3 weeks ago

This is deeply troubling that this journal would withdraw support for Judge Kavanaugh. He is highly qualified, has already undergone extensive background checks during his pristine career and service to our country, he has the credentials. He denies the allegations and while that may not be enough for some the fact remains that no one else, no one that Dr. Ford mentions, no one confirms this party ever happened. This is clearly a manipulation by those seeking to gain or retain power by “any means necessary” which includes causing people to have doubts about our judiciary. These scorched earth tactics are a failure of leadership and has dire implications for our democracy. Kavanaugh should press on because good honest people should not cower nor cave in.

Jim Anthony
3 weeks ago

Editors, I’d like to ask you a question. Leave aside what the FBI might show. During his sworn testimony, BK petulantly demonstrated a clear disrespect for women (Senator Kobluchar) and for the Senate. Would you allow him to become a Jesuit? No matter what the FBI investigation shows, he cannot ‘fake good’ long enough to play the role of an even-tempered individual. Why would anyone want him to become a Supreme Court justice?

Jim Francis
2 weeks 6 days ago

"Για την Μεγαλύτερη Δόξα του Θεού”
Εσύ, κύριε, είσαι ο ηλίθιος του χωριού.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 6 days ago

Jim
Well said!

Jim Francis
2 weeks 5 days ago

It wasn’t Homeric, yet, at my Jesuit Prep, four years of Latin and three years of Greek were “de rigueur".

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 5 days ago

Ditto!

Jim Francis
2 weeks 5 days ago

Stuart, were you in 2A, as a sophomore, as well? Well done!

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 4 days ago

Jim
It was actually about 5 years of Latin because Freshman year the Latin was two periods. Alas it was Church Latin.
I trust that the Dawn greeted you "with rosey fingers"!

Jim Francis
2 weeks 4 days ago

Ahh, rosey fingered dawn…

Jim Francis
2 weeks 4 days ago

Not to mention, all of Gaul divided in three parts. Alas, today all our gall is divided in two…

Delmar Bromm
3 weeks ago

If Judge Kavanaugh loses this; and the DEMO's win - they will stop at nothing. Senator from Hawaii has already said they can wait until 2020 to approve a new Judge. In their bag of tricks, NO judge nominated by President Trump will pass muster. This is NOT about Judge Kavanaugh, this is about President Trump. It is "Push Back" time for the Republicans

treeoflifesword@yahoo.com
2 weeks 6 days ago

Didn't know the Jezzies were pro-abort liberals.
Silly me....I'm so low information.

A Fielder
2 weeks 6 days ago

This publication is clearly pro-life. Yes, you need more information.

ron chandonia
2 weeks 6 days ago

If you include every trendy liberal cause under "pro-life" (but leave abortion off to the side because it is "nuanced" or something), well, yes.

J Brookbank
2 weeks 6 days ago

Ron, I am a pro-choice Catholic and have never read any article in America Magazine that has led me to believe the Editors or any contributor to America Magazine share my view.

A Fielder
2 weeks 6 days ago

This is my perspective also. I don’t think Ron knows much about what this magazine actually publishes.

ron chandonia
2 weeks 6 days ago

Used to be a faithful subscriber until James Martin and Company took over and started promoting the Consistent Gay Ethic.

J Brookbank
2 weeks 6 days ago

Which, no matter how you slice it, Ron, is not the same thing as being pro-abortion. This publication is without exception anti-abortion.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

Brookbank & Fielder - this is the first time I heard you self-identify with a right to kill the unborn. "pro-choice Catholic" is an oxymoron. Still ok to have non-Catholics comment but please do us the courtesy of being honest.

A Fielder
2 weeks 5 days ago

Tim, pro-choice Catholics are as common as pro-choice Americans. Oh, and nice try - giving me permission to post. We both know your not in charge here.

Tim O'Leary
2 weeks 5 days ago

To be a "pro-choice Catholic" is like being a "pro-choice pro-lifer" since supporting abortion rights results in automatic excommunication. Canon 1398 provides that, "a person who procures a successful abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication." This means that at the very moment that the abortion is successfully accomplished, the woman and all formal conspirators are excommunicated. Conspirators include those who make access of the abortion possible, including those who provide practical vote (procedural, financial, logistical, political).

A Fielder
2 weeks 5 days ago

This is your interpretation. And it is a stretch. Most rational Americans are beyond letting religious authority threaten people with pain of hell to manipulate efforts to influence civil laws. Catholics need not be one issue voters. I believe there are more effective means to limit the practice. Also catholic does not mean pro-life, it means universal.

sheila gray
2 weeks 6 days ago

I agree with the Editors. He made a fool of himself. I am from a long line of Catholic alcoholics. They’re the worst. My drunk mother slapped me across the face once because I genuflected half-heartedly during Mass in the 1960’s. He is not appropriate for 2018. Maybe 1950, but not 2018

treeoflifesword@yahoo.com
2 weeks 6 days ago

So, you truly believe that a person's career should be demolished because of one OBVIOUS, politically fueled allegation? Why did Ford scrub her social media?

BTW, have you ever been to a house party and not KNOWN WHOSE HOUSE IT WAS? No one has, unless they are blind drunk to begin with.

As a Catholic, I can't tell you how disgusted I am at this article. The precedent for simply alleging something with the target being assumed guilty is ABSURD and downright dangerous to civil rights.

Phillip Stone
2 weeks 6 days ago

The Australian Jesuits seem to be of different mind from those here at America.
They teach males from pre-puberty to the end of school here which is age 17-18. University follows for those who wish and are more like Oxford or Cambridge than College.

They know that some males have only just matured in their late 20s and in the meantime, have been in trouble with the law or been delinquent in other ways.
They do not give up on teen or tween troubled or troublesome males.

A large number of these tear-aways become model fathers and husbands when married to a good woman and become pillars of the community.
What is on the record for this man from age 30 until now? That is his character and what he is entitled to be judged by.

Any country or nation who seeks for the impossible, sinless perfection in their leaders from the cradle is absurd.

The accuser. We must beware of much modern psychology and in particular the "recovered memory" topic. The accuser has been unbalanced and in lots of therapy, plenty of opportunity for planting and growing false memories for some therapists using hypnotic techniques.
(I do not dispute that some neurosis arises from trauma which is forgotten or suppressed, just that great skill and experience is needed to distinguish false from true).
One other point, it is become more clear that PTSD occurs in people who have been doing things they did not believe they would ever be able to do (soldiers killing people during war). A change of heart by them about themselves is what brings relief, not pinning blame on some other donkey.

A Fielder
2 weeks 6 days ago

Phillip, I guessing you know nothing about PTSD.

A Fielder
2 weeks 6 days ago

Phillip, you argue than males don’t mature until their late 20s. Does that mean sexual assault is common in high school and college? But Dr Ford should not be believed. Are her memories false, or does SHE have a political motivation? Which is it? It sounds like YOU have a political motivation.

Karen Davis
2 weeks 6 days ago

Shame on America magazine for capitulating to the propaganda - and showing their true very partisan colors.

Mark Bacher
2 weeks 6 days ago

Dear editor(s) Jesus Told St. John Bosco in his dream I will give you a teacher without who's help all knowledge is foolishness. Your willingness to talk about withdrawing your support for Kavanaugh’s nomination before all the conclusions have been reached is just that such foolishness, and intellectual nonsense I believe.You are not just throwing him, but his wife, his children, his extended family, multitude of friends, and all who support and love him to the wolves!!! before any conclusions have been reached to his guilt or innocence. I thank God while I may be dumb as a load of bricks on the intellectualism scale, if this is what being smart is all about, i don't wont to even come near it. God protect me! from intellectualism. You have abandon Kavanaugh and all involved over the 8th deadly sin of FEAR, I really wonder what your article would say if in this new investigation, that is coming, tilts the scale to his innocence.

Fred Fastiggi
2 weeks 6 days ago

It is deeply disappointing to see that your magazine has been bullied into jumping on the latest political correctness bandwagon. Climbing on a righteous high horse to unilaterally condemn Judge Kavanaugh and boys and men of all ages without credible collaboration on the accusations is shallow and transparent.

After listening to the testimony of Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh,and weighing the evidence (or lack of it) that has been presented, I don't know how anyone could come to the conclusion that the incident as described occurred. Further, given the adult life Judge Kavanaugh has lived, his lengthy history which is clearly available for review including his family, the people he has chosen to associate with, and the way in which he has directed his time, talent and treasure, suggests at least to me, that he is a decent human being whose judgement can be trusted.

George Bush (43) was once questioned about his alleged use of drugs in his youth and responded something along the lines that “I was young once and like many young kids, I made some stupid decisions that I regret. I’ve grown up now and thankfully I don’t make the same stupid mistakes.” Saint Augustine and Saint Paul could probably make the same statement.

This rationale in no way justifies the aggressive, unwanted sexual abuse as recollected by the professor (if it even occurred) yet putting this alleged incident as described in its proper context, one must wonder how anyone, even our most venerated saints, would be viewed today if their lives were subject to the review and critique of transparently indignant self-serving politicians like Cory Booker and Kamala Harris on national television?

Just one opinion but it seems obvious that this circus of a confirmation hearing which seems intent on destroying the career of a decent family man and citizen for purely political reasons, has been timed and orchestrated by one segment of our society as an attempt to redirect the country on a cultural course that has been soundly rejected by most Americans, with the possible exception of the Jesuits.

Christopher Lowery
2 weeks 6 days ago

As the father of three, the grandfather of five (soon to be six), the product of sixteen years of Catholic education (including four years at a Jesuit high school), I bow to no one in my love of children or my Church, and pray that none of my children or grandchildren ever face the gut-wrenching decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy. However, I believe it is intellectually possible to abhor abortions, while still recognizing the autonomy of a woman’s right to govern her own body — within proscribed limits that also respect the rights of the unborn. Indeed, I am personally familiar with a situation in which a mother was faced with a pregnancy that would undoubtedly have cost her life, or aborting a fetus that was incapable of survival outside the mother’s womb. I won’t get into the theological arguments regarding weighing the greater good in this case — that’s not the subject before us. The questions before us are threefold: First, when is it appropriate for the state to insert itself in this decision? Second, how should these competing interests/rights be defined? And third, where does the public come out on these questions, and should public views be dispositive?

I’ll only address the last two, as the first is too deep to address here. With respect to the question of who should “adjudicate” the issue, it seems to me that the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, is the only state institution qualified to do so, certainly more dispassionately than the other two branches. There are legitimately competing rights in this question, and the courts are specifically charges with weighing those rights.

Next, when we are speaking of rights, and in this case we are, the question of the popularity of the respective parties should be irrelevant— one doesn’t have a right because others agree with that right. I trust that point is obvious.

Setting aside the other issues associated with Judge Kavenaugh’s personal history and deportment, the questions surrounding his lack of forthrightness respecting his judicial philosophy on matters concerning Roe, executive privilege, affirmative action, gun rights, etc., make it entirely possible to oppose his appointment to the highest court in the land. And by the way, the July 2018 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reports that there is, indeed, a popular consensus (71%) on not overruling Roe. I add that last comment just to correct the record, not because I believe it should factor into the debate...

Richard Nikkel
2 weeks 6 days ago

Spineless! The Jesuits have capitulated, who are these editors and how do their views reflect a society once known for its intellect and defense of the truth. They have witnessed a good man dragged through a trough of filth and have left him hanging. I am disgusted.

cynthia.pelak@yahoo.com
2 weeks 6 days ago

No, the question of abortion should not be state legislators. The question of abortion should be answered by a woman/girl who has an unwanted pregnancy. While the current nomination should be withdrawn, it is because the nominee has a problem with female bodily autonomy. Kavanaugh has demonstrated in his personal sexualized violence toward women (which is already well documented) and his judicial behavior in the one abortion case he rendered an opinion that he does not respect female bodily autonomy. There is no moral position to be found if a person's bodily autonomy is not respected. This is the real issue.

C Walter Mattingly
2 weeks 6 days ago

The America editorial concludes, "For the good of the country and the future credibility of the Supreme Court in a world that is finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously, it is time to find a nominee whose confirmation will not repudiate that lesson."
This is exactly why Kavanaugh's nomination should not be withdrawn. If any person can come forward with a claim of sexual harassment against a nominee which isn't well-substantiated and derail a candidate, it would create a terrible precedent for future nominees. Who would want themselves and their families to be confronted with false or exaggerated claims against them from their adolescence?

Where America would be better served is to present this argument to our present, far more credible claims of coverups at the very top of the Catholic hierarchy. The FBI is going to investigate Kavanaugh and Ford's claims against hm this coming week, an impartial, third party investigation. Such an investigation is far more clearly warranted for the current and recent past leadership of our church at this time.

Larry Bolton
2 weeks 6 days ago

The credibility of the accusations is only the START to be followed by evidence. No evidence has been shown. No investigation can be performed. Your lack of moral strength is telling.

Rudolph Koser
2 weeks 6 days ago

I hope this is the very last time America will ever endorse anyone for any office. Yes the editorials should emphasize Catholic teaching and positions and inform Catholics so they can vote for elected officials intelligently. However to tie your wagon to a particular individual is asking, as in this case, for a possible explosion and then the editors look naive and foolish, not to be listened to. Just because he is apparently pro-life, a Catholic, and is a "textualist", whatever that means (Remember there weren't AR's when the Constitution was written, but the textualists read that into the Constitution.) is no reason to endorse him or anyone else. I hope America learns from this experience and doesn't repeat it.

Mary Gay Moore
2 weeks 6 days ago

I am shocked, sickened, and saddened by your narrowmindedness, especially to one of your own students. I am sure you did not teach him to be so hateful. I was baptized at St. Francis Xavier in NYC by a Jesuit, and married by 2 different ones on 2 occasions. This is a new low, and I am devastated---as Ignatius would also be.

Michael Barberi
2 weeks 6 days ago

Editors,

We have almost 450 comments on this article and and as Tim O'Leary counted when the count was in the 300s, 75% of the comments are against the Editor's recommendation.

I like America Magazine (AM) and the editors in particular Fr. Martin. Sometimes I agree with articles in AM and sometimes I don't. One habit I try to adhere to is to rethink what I have said in light of the comments of other bloggers. Sometimes I modify my comments and sometimes I don't.

IMO, the worst thing to do is to stubbornly adhere to wrong principles and ignore or minimize facts. In this case these principles and facts are worth repeating:

1. innocent until proven guilty, not guilty by accusation
2. uncorroborated allegations (4 witnesses who either cannot recall this gathering or assert they never knew Kavanaugh or saw him at a party with Dr. Ford),and the evidence in support of the Kavanaugh's claim he was not at this gathering (his detailed calendar)
3. The tribal, partisan and unethical rhetoric and unjustified characterizations by Democrats about Kavanaugh from the moment he was nominated right through the Senate hearings and thereafter.
4. The imprudent and misguided use of the phrase "for the good of the country" even if a further investigation would support Kavanaugh's innocence.
5. The unblemished and highly respected professional life of Judge Kavanaugh
6. The letter of support by 65 women who knew him in high school, many of whom are friends with him today.
7. The lack of key facts by Dr. Ford:
> she does not know who drove her to the party/gathering,
> she does not know who drove her home or the time and place of this event,
> her unconvincing answer to the fact that all the witness she said were at this gathering do not corroborate her allegations,
> a plausible and realistic answer to the question about why Kavanaugh and his friend were 'lying in wait' for her upstairs when no one could have known Dr. Ford was about to go to the bathroom; why go upstairs to the bathroom when every house has a bathroom downstairs where the gathering was being held (was the downstairs bathroom being used?).....etc, etc.

I sincerely hope the Editors will issue another article re-addressing and re-thinking their suggestion that Kavanaugh should withdraw his nomination for the good of the country NOW.....even if Kavanaugh is confirmed or not, or if evidence comes out in support Dr. Ford's allegations or Kavanaugh's assertions of innocence.

J Brookbank
2 weeks 6 days ago

Michael, I sincerely hope that you are taking action to eliminate law enforcement investigations throughout the justice system. You could start the petition here. Your first line could be: "We the people have been duped. Law enforcement investigations have no objective value. Fire police detectives. Fire the CIA. Fire the FBI. Fire all investigators."

Michael Barberi
2 weeks 6 days ago

J Brookbank,

You are missing my point. I am disagreeing with the Editors in their calling for the withdrawal of Kavanaugh's nomination "now" for the good of the country, even if further investigations support either the accused and accuser. IMO, this is premature and irresponsible. That is it, pure and simple.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has asked the FBI to conduct a further investigation. There will be those who agree or disagree with the decisions of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately, this entire confirmation process has been political, partisan and IMO unethical. Let's face it, the Democrats were against Kavanaugh the minute he was nominated.

J Brookbank
2 weeks 6 days ago

You included in your "point" a discussion of witness statements collected and formulated and delivered by lawyers for each witness, followed by your belief those statements constitute the totality of evidence available and that that evidence refutes Dr Ford's allegations. Thus, no investigation by law enforcement is necessary, in this or the case of any allegation of sexual assualt. If that is NOT your point or one of your points, Michael, QUIT saying that.

Michael Barberi
2 weeks 5 days ago

J Brookbank,
I never said that those statements by the 3-4 witnesses 'constitute the totality of evidence', so stop putting words in my mouth. These statements were made under the penalty of felony and they do not corroborate Dr. Ford's allegations....period, full stop. Also, I never said that 'no investigation by law enforcement is necessary'. Let me be crystal clear "I NEVER SAID WHAT YOU CLAIM SO PLEASE STOP SAYING THESE THINGS".

The Senate Judiciary Committee has called for a further FBI investigation, so unless they uncover a corroborating witness or demonstrate that a statement made under penalty of felony is false, or any information that would shine a bright light on the truth, Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

I do not believe that any further argument with you will be productive, so let us end our give-and-take.

J Brookbank
2 weeks 5 days ago

Michael, now I can agree with you. There is no guarantee that the evidence presented in the hearing and in the letters from lawyers is the totality (that is why we have law enforcement investigations).

It is possible that the FBI will not uncover any new or contradictory evidence abd that Kavanaugh will still not be confirmed. There were many other objectiins to him before the amkegations were known. Questions about his veracity and partisanship were significant BEFORE the last hearing, and his conduct intensified those concerns while raising questions about his temperament and drinking. The background check could come back "clear" and he could still fail to be confirmed. I doubt that will happen but it could. Either way, our system will have worked the way it is supposed to.

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